A North Carolina brewing company stands to nearly double its production with the acquisition of a South Carolina brewer.
Morganton-based Catawba Brewing Co. is buying Palmetto Brewing Co. of Charleston.
The companies are joining into a single entity, according to a news release from Catawba on Monday. Catawba plans to finalize the purchase of Palmetto by the end of 2017. The Pyatt family, which owns Catawba, will retain 100 percent ownership of the company.
“The opportunity for combined growth and shared resources will put both brands in a more competitive position to compete in the rapidly changing craft market,” said Larry Lipov, Palmetto’s owner. “And it is very satisfying to know today’s Palmetto and Catawba team members will work together to grow the brands.”
Catawba is expected to produce about 17,500 barrels in 2017 and Palmetto is expected to produce about 16,000 – nearly doubling Catawba’s production when the companies merge.
“The closer we became to Palmetto’s owners, the Lipov family, the more we realized our two companies were very similar,” said Billy Pyatt. “Their culture is one of giving back to the employees and the communities served, and their attention to customers mirrors ours.”
There are key differences that should become synergies, Pyatt said.
“Catawba has one of the most effective manufacturing operations in the Southeast, while Palmetto has proven highly successful in customer-facing operations.”
When the deal is finalized, Catawba has a $1 million capital spending plan for Morganton and Charleston, including facility upgrades, new equipment and more staff to support the retail/wholesale business model.
Founded by western North Carolina’s Pyatt family in 1999, Catawba operates its main production facility in downtown Morganton, a small-batch brewery and tasting room in downtown Asheville, a tasting room in Asheville’s Biltmore Village and a brewing/tasting room/event complex in Charlotte. Catawba beers are distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and internationally.
Palmetto Brewing of Charleston, founded in 1993, is South Carolina’s first craft brewery. Owned by the Lipov family, Palmetto has grown from 2,000 barrels in 2012 to a forecast of 16,000 barrels in 2017. Palmetto beers are distributed in the Carolinas and parts of Georgia, and the company has a brewery/tasting room in Charleston.